Synopses & Reviews
This groundbreaking exposé brings to light the surprising financial consequences of mothers going to work, and the precarious position of today's middle class.
More than two decades ago, the women's movement flung open the doors of the workplace. Although this social revolution created a firestorm of controversy, no one questioned the idea that women's involvement in the workforce was certain to improve families' financial lot. Until now.
In this brilliantly argued book, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and business consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today's middle-class parents are suffering from an unprecedented and totally unexpected economic meltdown. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable than ever before. Today's two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but actually has less discretionary income once their fixed monthly bills are paid.
How did this happen? Warren and Tyagi provide convincing evidence that the culprit is not "overconsumption," as many critics have charged. Instead, they point to the ferocious bidding war for housing and education that has quietly engulfed America's suburbs. Stay-at-home mothers once provided a financial safety net if disaster struck; their move into the workforce has left today's families chillingly at risk. The authors show why the usual remedies child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women won't solve the problem, and propose a set of innovative solutions, from rate caps on credit cards to open-access public schools, to restore security to the middle class.
"The authors recommend a number of useful societal solutions to get families out of this trap....Overall...this is a needed examination of an emerging social problem." Publishers Weekly
"Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi have unearthed startlng new facts about bankruptcy. The most vulnerable are middle-class, two-income families with children in short, the typical American. Read this riveting book, to find out how to make your family secure again." Jane Bryant Quinn, author of Making the Most of Your Money
The groundbreaking "grenade of a book" that exposed the financial meltdown of today's middle-class families
In this revolutionary exposé, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and financial consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today's middle-class parents are increasingly trapped by financial meltdowns. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable to financial disaster than ever before. Today's two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but has 25% less discretionary income to cover living costs. This is "the rare financial book that sidesteps accusations of individual wastefulness to focus on institutional changes," raved the Boston Globe. Warren and Tyagi reveal how the ferocious bidding war for housing and education has silently engulfed America's suburbs, driving up the cost of keeping families in the middle class. The authors show why the usual remedies-child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women-won't solve the problem. But as the Wall Street Journal observed, "The book is brimming with proposed solutions to the nail-biting anxiety that the middle class finds itself in: subsidized day care, school vouchers, new bank regulation, among other measures." From Senator Edward M. Kennedy to Dr. Phil to Bill Moyers, The Two-Income Trap has created a sensation among economists, politicians, and families-all those who care about America's middle-class crisis.
About the Author
Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She is the co-author of As We Forgive Our Debtors
and The Fragile Middle Class
, as well as three leading commercial law casebooks. She is vice-president of the American Law Institute, and served as Chief Advisor to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Amelia Warren Tyagi has worked as an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company, specializing in health care, insurance, and education, and she co-founded the successful healthcare start-up HealthAllies. She lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with her husband and two-year-old daughter, Octavia.